South African wind tops models

South African wind tops models

Data on the output of South Africa’s wind farms reveals they are exceeding by a significant margin estimates used to model the nation’s 20-year energy blueprint, according to Eskom.

The utility said figures used in the draft of the latest update to the Integrated Resource Plan, which makes recommendations on the development of energy technologies up to 2030, had been “conservative”.

Eskom chief advisor for power system economics Keith Bowen said it failed to factor in developers seeking out optimum sites with wind speeds exceeding an area’s surrounding average.

The findings pave the way for an updated model that could lead to the government making a higher allocation of wind power.

South African Wind Energy Association chief executive Johan Van den Berg said: “It’s pleasing to note general acceptance of our long-held belief that wind farms benefit from an extremely good resource in our country.

“Running the IRP model again will see us upscaling the industry to levels where industrialisation becomes very exciting.”

Wind energy now is one-eighth of the price of the peaking plants Eskom currently calls upon during times when electricity supply is tight.

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